Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Countdown Snowman

We have a Countdown Snowman.  Every day Haley puts an ornament on his Christmas tree and Snowman announces how many days there are left until Christmas.  Snowman starts counting at 25 days until Christmas.

Snowman was not out 25 days before Christmas. 

I didn't have enough C batteries so I opened the box and put Snowman in the garage and put C batteries on the grocery list.  I eventually got the C batteries and then Snowman continued to languish in the garage until recently Haley saw him and the jig was up.

We have a love/hate relationship with Snowman.  Haley loves him and frankly I think the rest of us hate him.

It's a cute idea, but imagine my child, who can watch the same video over and over again with a motion detecting sound making object.

To tell the story of the Snowman I have to tell the story of Rhonda.

Rhonda the Reindeer used to come out every year at Christmastime too.  She doesn't anymore. 

She was also a cute idea.  An idea no doubt conceived by a well meaning person who didn't have a daughter like Haley. 

Rhonda was a stuffed reindeer with wings and arms that moved as she played Christmas songs.  Rhonda was not a motion detecting sound maker. Rhonda was a sound detecting sound maker.  She would play more than one song, which I thought would redeem her, but unfortunately it didn't.   The kinds of sounds that would prompt Rhonda to break into song were loud noises like claps, dropping things on the floor, sneezes, coughs, yells and the like. 

Haley couldn't clap loud enough. 

No matter how she tried Haley couldn't smack her own hands together loud enough to get Rhonda to perform.  She tried, but I really didn't want her to hurt herself.  I clapped for her for a while, but then my hands hurt.  If Rhonda didn't start playing Haley would get upset and start crying.  If she cried long enough she eventually got into fit mode and then when she screamed at the top of her lungs guess what would happen. 

Rhonda would play.

The next step, which I am sure you could surmise was simply to scream at the top of her lungs.  Rhonda would play a song and then stop.  Haley would scream and Rhonda would play another song.

After enough of that to make me want to curl up in the shape of a ball and whimper, I got out two wooden spoons.  I taught her to hit the two spoons together.  Sometimes she could do it so that Rhonda would respond, sometimes she didn't, but at least her odds improved. 

One year I got one of those plastic clappers in the shape of tiny hands that Haley could just shake.  It worked pretty well.

The details are fuzzy, but at some point I stopped getting Rhonda out.  At this point I am not sure if we still own her, but I think we do.

So Haley has some memory of Rhonda the Reindeer and when she wants Snowman to respond she jumps up and down and claps and tries to make noise.  I have to show her again that all she needs to do is wave her hands in front of Snowman and he will count down the days for her, because it is motion detecting not sound detecting.

I put Snowman on the top of the refrigerator after she has listened to him tell her the number of days left until Christmas about ten times or so.  That used to be pretty safe, but she is getting tall.  I am afraid she can reach him.  She likes to put the ornaments on the tree and then take them off of the tree and listen to Snowman count up and down alike.

I wish I could find a place in this house that he could live where he might tell us the days until Christmas every once in while, not so much that we want to throw him across the room.  I haven't found that place yet, so I just turn him off.

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